Personal Injury Verdicts can be reduced if the plaintiff is negligent

Personal injury plaintiffs have the burden of proof to prove that the defendant was negligent before a jury can consider the damages.  In auto accidents many times the liability is clear and one driver is cited with a traffic violation and the other is not.  However, defense attorneys will always argue that the plaintiff was negligent if the facts support this allegation.  In Georgia the jury verdict can be reduced by the percentage of negligence that a jury assigns to the plaintiff.  If the plaintiff is more than 50% at fault, then he or she is barred from any recover under the theory of contributory negligence.

In a recent truck accident personal injury trial (Ernest Wayne Edins, et al v. Stafford Transportation, Inc.) a jury awarded $4,000,000 in a wrongful death lawsuit.  The defendant truck driver left his tractor trailer in the roadway after a collision.  In this trial the defense attorney argued that the plaintiff was negligent because he failed to drive around the tractor trailer like many other vehicles were able to do and instead drive right into the trailer.  The jury awarded $4,000,000, but assigned 25% of the negligence against the plaintiff.  This resulted in a total jury verdict pay out of $3,000,000.  The 25% negligence equaled to a one million dollar reduction in the awarded jury verdict.

Many trial attorneys focus most of their attention on proving liability in a car accident personal injury trial.  Attorney Richard Griffin, an Atlanta trial lawyer, believes that it is critical to spend at least the same amount of trial time demonstrating, explaining, and proving the damages to the jury as you do proving liability.  Our Atlanta law firm utilizes the following when needed to prove damages:

  • medical records
  • medical narratives
  • doctor depositions and trial testimony
  • plaintiff testimony
  • spouse testimony
  • before and after witness testimony
  • accident re-constructionists
  • economists
  • vocational experts
  •  life care plan experts
  • police officers
  • witness deposition and trial testimony
  • defendant depositions and trial testimony

Free Consultation:  Attorney Richard Griffin will gladly provide a free personal injury or workers’ compensation consultation to anyone injured in a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or other personal injury accident.  Call us today at 877-PAIN-LAW or 877-724-6529.